Back in the day when a txt message wasn’t behind the infamous blind break-up, it was only fitting to do it by a letter. This is what starts the 1980 slasher The Prowler, which in the genre’s books, is a good enough reason to create the motive for a pitchfork wielding killer. To say the least, I’m intrigued. The kill count is broad – as well as the kills being glorious – and the tension is silly and slick at times. But like a lot of slashers at the time, it’s always waiting for something to happen.
The flashback is rather done well. I was surprised by how careful and sedate is seemed to be, that is, until the killer strikes. Snap back to present day 1980 and things take its time to kick off. Perhaps its the set of run-of-the-mill characters or the mundane camera shots. Either which doesn’t help the film take off. However, when the killer comes a-knocking, that’s when things get real fun. Tom Savini serves up some of the best make-up and special effects in a slasher. My jaw-dropped too many times. Savini’s work makes each shot look that much better. Sadistic as it sounds, the grisly kills is the star of the show. His suggestion of ending Friday The 13th with a jump-scare is almost mimicked here.
The killer’s backstory is explored and slightly creepy, adding a little more depth to its reasoning. However, The Prowler‘s final girl needs more work. For one, she isn’t a compelling actor. Also, her boyfriend is Deputy Douchebag. I didn’t like his hair. And perhaps too much tension takes place with them, and a lot of other characters. Like viewers, they’re lingering.
A typical slasher done almost right, The Prowler is solely to be seen for its kills and bad dancing. Unfortunately it doesn’t have enough of its own magic to be different. But, it isn’t bad. In fact, it’s fun, just not a bellyful.